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If you can't beat'em join'em - Why I became a doctor

'I decided people deserve better than what I had gone through. So I looked up how to get into medical school.'

I didn’t have what you would call a “normal” childhood – in a good way! – but I definitely had normal health. The odd cold, the rare episode of vomiting. I probably took more time off school faking being sick than actually being sick! My periods started in year 8, at the age of 13. Again, everything was normal. Little to no pain, regular pads changed every few hours, no PMS or symptoms other than mild cramping. But that didn’t last nearly long enough.

When I was about 14-15 my periods changed. Suddenly they were exceptionally painful, and I had pelvic pain more often than not throughout my cycle. I took so much Nurofen over my high school years I’m surprised I still have kidneys! My bleeding increased too. I couldn’t use just pads anymore. It was heavy tampons AND heavy pads changed between every class. My friends didn’t suffer as much as I did so I knew something was wrong. Thankfully my mum is a human biology teacher. I had a pretty good understanding of the human body, so I researched what could be the cause of my concerns. It was then I stumbled across endometriosis. When I brought my research to her, she agreed. So, like everyone else with medical issues, I went to my GP.

Unfortunately I didn’t get the help I wanted. I got told “endometriosis can’t cause pain outside of your periods”. I was sent for an ultrasound to investigate for ovarian cysts. Of course, like most ladies with endometriosis, a basic pelvic ultrasound showed nothing. Going back to my GP afterwards I was told I was just having normal periods, I had to deal with it, and it would get better after I had children. Keep in mind I was 15 at the time, 2 years before I even met my first boyfriend!

About 6 months later my mum and I decided things were getting ridiculous. I was getting worse, not better. Thankfully my cycles were 6 weeks long so I didn’t have too many periods to battle with and I never missed any school, but I was still suffering more than a teenage girl should. At this point I also had a healthy case of depression to fight and I was getting sick of it. We went to a women’s health GP in Northbridge. I vaguely remember the name Genevieve, an outfit of bright pink, and validation. She told me I sounded like a textbook case of endometriosis and put me on the pill. She also discovered I’d used up almost all my iron stores!

I stayed on the pill for a year before deciding it “wasn’t working anymore”. I soon went back on, it turned out the underlying condition had just gotten worse! I met my now husband at 17 at university and he knew about my condition from day one, he k